Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Kendra Kattelmann


Dietetics, Food allergy, Food labels


Milk allergy is the most common childhood allergy. Reading food labels is important to prevent an allergic reaction. By United Kingdom (UK) law, milk needs to be listed on the food label if it used as an ingredient. Products can be called ‘free from’ milk if manufacturers have undergone rigorous process and testing to ensure it is not contaminated with milk. Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL) like ‘may contain milk’ statements are unregulated and can be used at manufacturer’s discretion. Similarly, ‘Vegan’ products are not regulated by law and appear to be on the increase. Objective
The study aimed to assess the suitability of vegan confectionery sold online in the UK for cow’s milk allergy sufferers by analyzing the food labels and their reference to milk. The secondary aim was to verify the online food labels with those instore. Method
The food labels of vegan confectionery from the top 4 groceries stores in the UK were analyzed online for milk listed as an ingredient; PAL for milk; listed as ‘free from’ milk and no reference to milk on the food label. The food labels from a 10% subsample were verified with instore labels. Exact multinomial tests were used for the significance cow’s milk labelling while the exact binomial test was used at a 95% confidence interval to verify online food labels instore.
Vegan confectionery (n=143) products analyzed online were deemed not suitable for cow’s milk allergy sufferers (p=0) as 20.3% had PAL for milk; 27.3% made no reference to cow’s milk; and 52.5% were labelled as ‘free from’ milk. When verified in store a significant number of products (n=3) did not match the online food label (pConclusion
Vegan confectionery sold in the United Kingdom is not necessarily suitable for cow’s milk allergy sufferers. Patients should read individual food labels prior to consumption to assess product suitability as food labels may change.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Confectionery -- Great Britain.
Confectionery -- Labeling -- Great Britain.
Food allergy.
Milk-free diet.
Vegan cooking.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright